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Monday, April 8, 2013


Recently, I went shopping with my daughter – it’s a little different here as the nearest real mall is 30+ miles down the road. As we wandered through a clothing store sporting a sea of jean styles, I had a thought: wow, this sure beats the “jean” pool back home. Hmmm, jean pool. What? Oh, ha, ha, ha, yes, very funny… lost in thought… unfamiliar territory. I’ll put it and your humor into my GPS. So, as I was saying, jean pool. Now, that’s not to be confused with that ‘other’ gene pool. This jean pool is the one you’re likely to find at a local bar not your community college science lab.

In a rural area you’re likely to see jean labels like Wrangler, Cruel Girl (no, not a reference to your ex), or Cinch. And, be honest, we’re all a bit prone to ‘label shopping’ (me, I’m mostly a Wrangler gal myself).  Problem is, in the country, sometimes the available jean pool can be a little shallow. So, just like taking my daughter to the nearest mall sometimes we have to find a way to a deeper pool.

Yep, here we go again with the internet thing. As with wading out into any pool ya gotta be careful where you step; otherwise, you could end up stepping on something that bites and/or smells (and not in a good way either). Believe me, the internet jean pool can be full of more critters than Ellie Mae Clampitt had in her cement pond.

My suggestion to the people who come up with those ‘cowboy’, ‘farmer’, and ‘country’ dating websites: If you’d focus more on getting people into the right JEAN pool as opposed to the right GENE pool, you might find you'd have more success than Kim Kardashian has. You may say - "it's all in the genes", but I hear - "it's all in the jeans". (Of course, there’s always the possibility of pulling the drain plug on that jean pool only to discover that the guy with the right ‘jeans’ was never even in there – he had been onshore waiting patiently holding your towel for you.)

Today’s point: In love, as in style, the right jeans are all about the right fit.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I don’t date jerks… Ok, quit spitting coffee out your nose – that was only cute when you were 5. You didn’t let me finish… I don’t date jerks BY CHOICE. My relationship luck is more like buying a lottery ticket with all 6 winning numbers – from the previous week’s drawing. 

One thing I’ll say about it though, it sure seems to bring out the best in my friends when it happens and for that I’m grateful. As I was having lunch with the lead mares the other day, I realized just how lucky I am in that respect. You see, while there are probably times they’d like to GPS the men with the butterfly nets for me, instead they listen then, we all laugh. This was the case with what happened to me recently. 

My last relationship end was absolutely a real shocker for everyone around me.  In fact, it was kinda like taking your cousin’s dare and touching the electric fence wire to see if it’s hot only to find out that it was! And, I must admit for a bit I felt about as good as if it zapped me. But, like the pain of child birth, that stinging is subsiding with time. That’s due in great part to my great friends who usually know just what to say at just the right time to say it. 

Here’s one example: I was talking to the boyfriend of a good friend of mine recently who knows how to put things into perspective. He’s by nature a very kind and funny person anyway but this has to be his best line to date. He asked me how I was doing and said how sorry he was to hear about what happened. I thanked him and told him it’s just the way things seem to go with me and love. His reply is one I’ll never forget: “You know… we’re all alike… WE ALL FART IN BED!”  

Somewhere in there, there’s a grain of truth to that if you think about it (once you quit laughing). We all have our sweet side and our smelly. If it starts smelling like a barn stall full of manure, though, it may be time to ‘clean out the stall’.

Today’s Moral: If you’re smart you’ll realize only have to hit that hot wire fence once to realize you don’t want to do it again. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


When you exit the donkey corral, please remember to shut the gate behind you so none of them end up with the rest of the herd… Thank you.  As I’ve told you before, I’m here to try to impart some of my hard-learned lessons in the affairs of the heart and have I got a doozy for you today.

For some time now I’ve been in a relationship that until recently I would have described as perfect for me… he and I share a love of horses, our kids and a country way of life. So far so good right? Yeah, well, that’s what I thought too – until I realized he suffered from what I call the ‘pouting and punishing phenomenon’… no, that’s not some S&M game but thanks for that image! No, this is where your partner gets upset with you and rather than voicing their dismay they take it out on you with things like pouting, withholding the sweet things they normally say, or forgetting to call or text when normally they’d be on the phone quicker than Secretariat hitting the race track. Well, I’ve never been fond of that game (for me it’s like running a barrel race without a timer – you’re in it to win it but no one really does.)

Guys, let me give you a little advice here: if you want to remain a stallion in your filly’s barn remember this – if she’s making a 110 mile round trip multiple times a week just to see you then REMEMBER SHE’S MAKING A 110 MILE ROUND TRIP MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK JUST TO SEE YOU. We understand your love for roping or whatever other hobby you have, believe me, we really do. But if you expect to keep playing saddle blanket bingo with that little filly you should occasionally take a night off from chasing steers and chase your filly around the barn instead! 

My fellow mares and fillies this one is for you: If you’re making a 110 mile round trip multiple times a week to see your stud muffin pay close attention to his actions and what is NOT being said. If instead of paying attention to you, your needs and your efforts he’s paying for saddles, ropes and things like that then you need to take the blinkers off to see if you’re as important to him as he is to you. If the answer to that isn’t an obvious YES then he may be the roper but, honey, you’re the one with the ‘bum steer’.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I’m probably a ‘take no prisoners’ type personality which in some aspects would be more attractive on a guy in some settings… New York… Boston… you get the picture. Anyway, with that personality goes the verbage. I’ve been told on occasion (ok, ok, on lots of occasions) that I could make a sailor blush when I get wound up. Sorry, I’ll wait for you to wipe that mock shock off your face. Better now? The thing is, with no one around you to call you out on it well, you just kinda tend to keep doing it. And if I were bartending at a longshoremen bar in Boston I’d most likely be right at home but, I’m not.

And, speaking of looks, being in this relationship is eye-opening to me – mostly looking right at me actually. First, when he didn’t ask if the relationship plane had a parachute at the first sight of me without makeup I figured I had a pretty good shot.

Guys, let me help you out here - when your lady let’s you see her without makeup that first time she’s actually making a much bigger statement. It’s a serious statement on her trust in you. And I’m so glad I made it over that particular jump still in the saddle. So, a word to the wise here: when she trusts you enough to show you her true look don’t be like one moron I was told about. I suggest you not later say something like “I prefer you with makeup”. That’s kinda like telling someone they have a great face for radio and her staying with you is about as likely as a barrel racer winning the NFR on a three-legged horse.

Moral of the story today is just like in a Grand Prix jump, in any relationship about the time you recover your stride from one jump, there’s another one up ahead. In a Grand Prix, knocking down a rail can cause you to stumble and earn you a fault but keeping your composure and making smart choices can get you across that finish line with a good time and a good run.  Guess the same could be said for relationships…

Thursday, January 31, 2013

IT'S "HUG YOUR HONEY" DAY - somewhere

Well, I’m almost afraid to jinx it but so far so good. I am officially in a real grown-up relationship – with a real grown-up even! It’s a promising start to a trail ride that I sincerely hope doesn’t end like a pack mule going over a cliff in the Grand Canyon.
It’s interesting actually; he didn’t even ask where the eject button was when I explained about writing this blog or some of the colorful escapades which were the background and cause of it in the first place. What? Seriously? I didn’t tell you how we met? Oh, sorry. Well, you’re not gonna believe it but we met online. Oh, come on, what are you 12?! Now please go get me a paper towel so I can wipe your coffee off my glasses thank you very much. As I was saying – yes, we met online and he is perfectly normal… no hang-ups, no horrific habits, no hand-me-down drama (just the way I like it).
As a matter of fact, we went to the Fort Worth Stockshow and Rodeo the other night and something happened that was just short of amazing. Please, must you always go ‘there’?! After the rodeo we stayed to visit with a good friend of mine (a male friend) that I hadn’t seen in several months. Well, me being me, without even thinking twice about it I ran right up and hugged my friend squealing a happy greeting. Yes, I instantly introduced my date and my friend and we all had a terrific visit.
What’s what? Oh, the amazing, right. Anyway, it wasn’t even until sometime later that I realized what had happened (or really what had NOT happened) – NO SCENE. For my part I probably should have warned my boyfriend that I have a habit of greeting all of my friends (male and female alike) with a hug – that’s just how I am. But, I didn’t, and as it turns out, it actually gave me another insight into my darling. There was no tantrum verbal or silent. You’ve never heard of a silent tantrum? Sure you have. Those are the ones that are kinda like the silent alarm going off during a jewelry heist – trouble’s acoming down the trail you just don’t know it yet. In this case, FORTUNATELY, it took a left at the fork in the trail before it got to me.
So with this, allow me to provide a teachable moment. First, always let your other half know that hugs are not just reserved for them and cute puppies. Second, make sure you hug your other half longer than you hug your friends so they can see the difference!
A hug is merely a universal sign of appreciation while a tantrum is a universal sign of depreciation.  I propose we have a “HUG YOUR HONEY” day. Why not? We have a day for everything else!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Ladies, listen up, I have news you can use…THERE’S HOPE YET! Even for us single girls in the country. I know, I know, I can’t believe myself I drank the kool-aid. But I did and I must confess I liked it – I really, really liked it.

I can tell you this, if you’ve ever spent two hours getting all shined up for a first date including adjusting and re-tuning your make-up, fussing with your hair and changing clothes multiple times you’ll so appreciate this because I had done just that and was ready with literally no seconds to spare. But I had done it and I was quite proud of myself if I do say so myself. I had finally fixed up and dressed up just like I wanted.

He arrived and didn’t appear to be looking for the eject button or the fire exit so I was double proud… right up to the time I looked down and realized I had put on my old barn boots rather than my nice dress boots. When I saw that I wanted to crawl under the table – guys get THAT image out of your mind – but here’s the real surprise. My date not only didn’t mind he thought it was just fine. So moral of the story here: if you find a guy who thinks your barn boots are sexy my advice is ‘HANG ON TO HIM’… Umm, just not this him – this him is mine!

Ok, I’ll start back from the beginning. Well, as you recall when last we met I was about as lucky in love as someone who won the lottery… two days after they passed away. So, I decided to take a little break from it all. I’ve been sitting back pondering my options rather than pounding the keyboard. Honestly, I think that’s what did it. I needed to take some time and evaluate what was going on in my life and my soul. Must you always snort beer through your nose when I mention my heart or the like? So…yes… my soul.

I honestly had all but given up; I was starting to think that a happy relationship for me was about as likely as me skipping through the woods hand in hand with Winnie the Pooh. Then, it happened. The text came through, the clouds parted and the angels sang. Hey – this is my story and I’m telling it the way I want – clouds gone… angels present… and so was the sun.

This was someone I had communicated with off and on for some time and at this point it had been some time since it had been on. But, there it was. Huh? What did what say? Oh, right, the text. Actually it was rather innocent, just one of those ‘sorry lost touch… how you doin’ type texts. Didn’t matter to me, I was just happy to see it.

Yes, I know, you’re probably reading this thinking… ok she’s been mule-kicked and, normally, if I wrote these things you’d probably be right but, not this time. What’s changed? Well, for starters, me. I’ve decided that with the start of the new year perhaps it’s time for a new adventure. After all, adventures can be anything from a non-swimmer facing the challenges of white water rafting, or someone afraid of heights going rock climbing. For me, it’s the adventure of a heart looking for its true beat. Since it’s unchartered territory for me, I thought I’d share the expedition with you (ha, ha, yes I know like I can get lost with people always telling me where to go).

Seriously, Lewis & Clark didn’t have GPS. Surely, I can find the end to my maze. Come with me for the trip. Like Lewis & Clark there may be hardships, forked trails (or at times even no trails) and periods of total darkness but, with the right guide, a new trail can be blazed. 

Saddle up…

Thursday, December 27, 2012


“I’m confused.” It was a text message I seemed to be getting lately and, quite honestly, he wasn’t the only one who was confused! What? YOU’RE confused? How do you think I feel! Oh, you meant YOU are confused. Ok, well, then, I better start back a few days and bring you up to speed. Guess that’d be like watching a barrel racer run out of the arena with a leading time but the clock is still stuck on 0.000.

Now, let me set the stage for you: Brayden and I had recently made acquaintance in a western store and struck up a conversation. We exchanged numbers and emails and, almost immediately, I received the first message from him. For several days we kept up a constant stream of text and phone chats. Very soon after, he asked me out to dinner. Things went swell! He was warm, he was funny and, most importantly he was educated and employed… I call that the “Momma Trifecta” – that means you can take him home to momma and there’s a check in the ‘WIN’ column for each of those divisions on her scorecard. And trust me, that’s not an easy feat to accomplish.

The longer we talked the more I felt at ease with him. Sometime during the date he hinted that perhaps we could get together again. Yikes! This was going better than I anticipated! In fact, in the back of my mind I actually started thinking “Wow, we may really have a second date”. Well, since he loaded that thoroughbred into the starting gate, I figured I may as well ride it. Taking a deep breath and crossing my fingers under the table, the words shot out like that thoroughbred out of that gate “Hey, you know something? My friend is having a cook out next weekend. Would you like to go?”  Then I held my breath. I saw a light frown come across his forehead. “What day is it?” he asked. (That’s a question we usually ask when we’re devising the “I’m sorry I have to wash my hair” answer.) “It’s Saturday.” “Saturday huh?” More breath holding. For a split second there was that pin dropping silence. Then, it happened. I saw the smile first, “Sure, that sounds like fun.” Finally, I could breathe again. I felt like I had been training for a pool length underwater swim by this point!

So, to here, the wheels are still on the wagon. We lived a little distance apart so when we parted company it was back to texting and phone calls, which were numerous. Finally, Saturday gets here and so does he. We went to the party and, again, had a good time… How could we not? Good people, good food, good music and last but certainly not least “I WAS THERE WITH A DATE!!!” He was saying all the right things, things like “I really like you and enjoy your company and I hope you feel the same”, “I’d like to see where this goes for us. Why don’t we give this relationship a try.” Wow, I was walking a couple inches off the ground I was so happy.

Now here’s where the wagon starts losing an axle. After that night, he advised he was suddenly feeling ill and the beginning of what I knew from experience was the end was once again upon an up-to-then blossoming relationship.

Here’s how it happened: Remember the numerous calls and texts I told you about? Yeah, well, they declined quicker than Mel Gibson’s popularity. I would periodically text him and check on him asking things like “Hey, you ok?” or “Hope you’re feeling better?” and even “Well, if I were there I’d nurse you back to health lol.” His response? Let’s just say I could hear the Jeopardy theme music playing over and over. And axle number 1 is in the mud!

When it had been a couple of days with no word from him, I decided to finishing ripping the bandaid off, sending him a short and sweet text ‘I wish you well.’ Yep, you guessed it… Axle number 2 is in the mud! His answer “I’m confused.” 

I decided that ok, I’ll take the bait.  ME: “What are you confused about?”
BRAYDEN: “Are you dumping me? Why?”
ME: “Well, seeing as how I haven’t heard from you in 2 days when before it would be close to every couple of hours I figured you weren’t interested any more.”
BRAYDEN: “Gee, I sent you a Happy 4th text.”

Let me stop you right here… REALLY????? “A” message? Oh, where do I begin? Now your wagon is up the creek without an axle!

Oh, we understand during the day we all have to work and it’s not always possible to communicate. BUT, if evening rolls around and we still don’t hear from you well that quarter horse just turned into an Appaloosa of a whole other color. See, we take ‘in communicado’ as ‘uninterested’ or ‘otherwise occupied’ - either of which being about as acceptable as Kim Kardashian dateless on New Years Eve.

Guys, let me give you a couple of tips here. For one thing, minimums (meaning the LEAST you can get away with) are for government standards not for communicating with your girlfriend. Secondly, if we have to constantly prompt you to hear from you then to us that’s the same as reminding you to not to forget to remember us.

Moral of the story today: If you’re really interested in being with someone then leave the ‘minimum to get by with’ to HUD and send that special little lady a quick ‘thinking of you’ text. You’ll have more Brownie points than Betty Crocker! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do I Have a Choice?

Saddle up boys and girls because boy do I have a campfire story for you all today! It’s been kind of a hectic time for me, as I’m sure it has for you all, too. Heap on top of that all of the evil that seems to have been unleashed like the Wal-Mart doors opening on the eve of Black Friday and it’s been a real roller coaster ride. Today, though, I’d like to talk about another type of evil – RUDENESS.

Yes, I consider rudeness evil. Why? Because like evil, a person chooses to commit it, that’s why. The only difference here is if you do it to me then everybody around the globe gets to read about it – including probably some of your friends. Geez, I don’t know what’s got into people these days and, yes, I’m talking about a specific incident involving a specific person.

Details? Here ya go! I had been corresponding with someone who for all intents and purposes seemed very nice, educated, funny, (and most importantly country – oh, wait, that one’s for me).  Anyway, time stretched on and he’d been saying all those nice things like “I sure would like to get to know you” and “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could meet?” and my personal favorite “Attraction is just the icing on the cake… I want the total package”. Yep, you got it! Falser words were never spoken.

So, I decided to take the bait and meet him. Oh, I was so excited and nervous and happy all balled into one that I probably resembled Lindsay Lohan getting a ‘get ouf of jail free’ card from the judge. Heck, I even wore some of my good perfume (no, not from Wal-Mart).

So, I’m sitting there in my truck waiting on his arrival to the restaurant where we chose to meet and, while sitting there, began running all sorts of negative scenarios in my head (you know the ones… a) he’s nothing like his picture, or b) he shows up with someone else, or c) he has the manners of a three year old. I’ll take c for $200, Alex. Honestly, I’ve seen three year olds with lots better manners than this jerk.

We met in the parking lot, he was walking up talking on the phone (to his mother which momentarily gave him 1 brownie point) and he extended an arm to give me a friendly hug (brownie point 2). Trust me… he didn’t get to 3!

We went in and sat down and a few minutes later a friend of his walked in and just happened to sit behind him. From that moment, it went downhill quicker than a Colorado avalanche! He spent the bigger part of the time with his back to me, turned around talking to his friends. He would momentarily turn around to stuff his face when our food arrived but then would turn around again. Determined not to stoop to his level of rudeness, I fought with all my might not to dump the rest of my beer in his lap (ok, I didn’t want to waste a good beer anyway). But, the point is, I was the bigger person in the situation. 

 Now guys (and girls too) let me tell you something right here, right now. If you’re not interested in someone, say so up front; don’t string them along only to ignore them in a crowded restaurant –for one they may not be as nice as I was and actually will dump that beer in your lap. And to those of you who are sitting there staring at the back of that person’s head noticing how their neck needs a good scrubbing – do the right thing: STOP THE WAITER AND ASK WHERE THE NEAREST FIRE EXIT IS AND RUN LIKE HECK! Trust me, if they’ll treat you like that initially then don’t worry it CAN and probably will get worse!

Moral # 1 of the story here: 4-wheel drive in your new truck is optional equipment…manners come standard.

Moral # 2 of the story here: I don't care how good looking you think you are there's always someone better and if they have manners - guess who wins? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Believing IS Seeing!

Seeing as how my soapbox has asked for a day off to go to the chiropractor I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about something a little different today. As you know by now, I like to take a lope down memory trail from time to time. Given that it’s the holiday time of year, I guess this is as good a time as any to go for a trail ride.

I know we all have memories from Christmas (or Hanukah) as kids. There’s a line that I really like from the Tim Allen film “The Santa Claus(e)” that goes “Seeing isn’t believing…Believing is seeing”.  As kids, we understand that but, for some reason, as we grow older we lean more and more towards the ‘seeing is believing’.  To me, therein lies the problem. We go for the things that we can see at Christmas – whether it’s the Christmas bonus at work, or the newest computer, or the latest fashion craze – and the old ‘out of sight out of mind’ takes over.

What do you mean “I’m not seeing it”? That’s my point exactly. You’d think with all the new styles of glasses, lasik surgery and contact lenses they’d come up with something that’d help us see a soul as well as the stitching on that new saddle you had under the tree last Christmas. Come on.  We can hear that text come in we’ve been waiting for but not that bell being rang by the kettle worker outside Wal-Mart?

Hmm? Memory trail? I’m gettin’ to that. I remember one Christmas I wanted this Ballerina doll so bad that I bet I bugged my Mamaw and Papaw for it starting around Labor Day. Oh, how I loved that doll. She wore a pink tutu and had a pretty pink crown on her head with a knob that you could use to make her spin and dance.

Of all the Christmas trees over the years, I remember the tree from that year the most. We always had a real tree, fit with those multi-colored old C7 bulbs, bright red and green breakable ornaments, garland and, of course, tinsel. I still recall staring longingly at it on my way to bed that Christmas Eve night. Passing it in my mind’s eye even now I can still see it standing there, its reflection dancing off of the shiny hard wood floor in the den, and I can even still feel its warmth. 

That next morning I bet it didn’t take me four leaps to get from my bedroom to that tree… and there she was all ‘pretty in pink’. I could barely speak (of course my Mamaw’s version has me shrieking at the top of my lungs) when I saw her.  But looking back now, that doll represents something else much more precious to me.  It reminds me that she (like all my other presents then and over the years) were the product of love and sacrifice by my grandparents. I wish I could have seen that clearer then.  

We should all take a moment every now and then even after Christmas is over to remember those times as kids when we waited for Santa Claus, when we dreamed of dancing snowmen and flying reindeer. That’s because during that part of our lives we simply believed, believed with no pre-conceived notions and with no prejudice, in something much greater than ourselves.

I’m not talking about believing in the presents, I’m talking about believing in the love and the spirit behind them. I'm talking about not turning a blind eye to those who may not have it so good as you do.  And of course don't forget to remember your grandparents or that special aunt and uncle that even though they're older now never seem to forget you. I can assure you, I’d give back every Christmas present I got as a kid to see my Mamaw and my Papaw around my tree now.

Folks, believing really IS seeing. This Christmas, how about looking with your heart rather than your eyes? I bet you’ll be surprised at just how clear that panavision will be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Someone mentioned to me that maybe I should do a chart.  It’d be kinda like the eye chart the eye doctor uses to see how bad your eyesight is. Only here rather than testing to see WHAT you can see, with this you can see IF you see… Get it?
1.     Provide transportation
10.  Require it
2.     Be cordial
11. Be condescending
3.     Look sharp
12. Look around
4.     Share dreams
13. Share the tab
5.     Call her darling
14. Call her sister
6.     Appreciate her appearance
15. Appreciate the waitress’ cleavage
7.     Show interest
16. Show off
8.    Respect her
17. Disrespect her family or friends (or both)
9.     Take her hand
18. Take a hike
Now, all of you who have been out with the majority of the right-hand column please raise your hand. Wow, that many? (Well, I no longer feel alone then.)  Those of you who have gone out with those in the left-hand column are probably still going out with them so I reckon this wouldn’t really apply to you.
What was that? The worse offender you ask? Well, recently I went out with someone who was numbers 10, 11, 16 and 17 all rolled into one – so you can bet that led to number 18 real quick. You know the type, no matter what you do, they’ve done it better (and don’t hesitate to let you know that).
Or how about this one: Every time you try to tell them a little bit about the people you know or the things you’ve done they pounce on you saying things like “It ain’t nice to brag” or “You don’t name-drop to sell a horse” yet for 15 minutes you’ve heard nothing but their recount of the people who think they’re great. Trust me, honey, those people may think you’re great but we won’t.
Ladies, one way to check them out is to watch and see their body language.  I’m big on watching facial expressions and body language for little discrepancies so here’s a tip for you guys: Don’t sit there making faces and roll your eyes when your date is sharing a story.  If you do, then I assure you she’ll be doing the same thing as she races out of the parking lot, leaving you sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant and thinking to yourself: “Man, she’s taking a long time in the bathroom”.